Everything in life is writable about, according to Sylvia Plath. Everything. Every breath you take, every move you make, wait… that’s…not…I’ve digressed.
Today was held such promise but it ended up as a day where I did not get much accomplished beyond making dough in the kitchen. Sure, I eventually put sauce, pepperoni, and cheese on one of the doughs (mmmm.. homemade pizza, anyone?) but aside from that, I may have read a grand total of 10-15 pages in one of my research books and taken a whopping half-page of notes.
My brain is a bit fried from the heavier stuff earlier this week. Switching gears from intense analytical reading to simple comprehension is a bit like taking an F1 driver out of his race car and telling him to drive Monaco in a Flinstone-mobile. He’s gonna wonder where the hell the knobs and gears are, right?
That’s the catch with the writing lifestyle, I suppose. Switching gears all the time. The book I envision is comprised of a range of subjects. Some of the reading I am doing is just for background purposes as I hate discussing anything unless I fully understand it. Writing a book means I damn well better be able to comprehend what I am discussing. So, reading it is. A lot of reading. Balancing that reading is proving to be tricky, however. What is even trickier is balancing the reading/researching/note-taking with blogging. Oh, and chat. Mondays are crazy around here. Chat, worksheet development (which I think I am going to move up to the weekends, actually, to get a jump start!), and then advocacy. Phew.
I promise I am still taking good care of myself. I practice what I preach.
The quote I started with – about how everything in life is writable about – it caught my eye because it is important for me to remember that just now. At the beginning of the year, I promised a more intimate view into ME this next year. I realized over the past year that one of the reasons I stopped writing was because frankly, I lost sight of who I was as a woman, as a writer, as a blogger in my own space. Sure, it was mine, but I felt like a stranger in my own home. I was no longer who I was when I started the blog. Should I continue? Should I rebrand? (I still struggle with rebranding – I may do that one of these days yet, that one is still up in the air).
Turns out that I just needed to sit down, crack my knuckles, and remind myself that yes, everything in life IS writable about – it’s just a question of having the guts to do so, as Sylvia says. I still get to choose what I share with the public at large, but there is nothing to writing – all you have to do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed, according to Ernest Hemingway.
Hemingway also claims one should write drunk and edit sober, solid advice if you ask me, actually. Nothing quite like really lowering your inhibitions and then sitting down at a typewriter to bleed. Of course, your blood might be tinged with scotch or whisky. But a bit of proper editing and you’ll be good to go, right?
A blogger I met when I first arrived on Twitter wrote these hilarious posts about lessons she learned over the past week. Sadly, I don’t read her blog much any more but really need to get back into the habit because she’s a hilarious woman. In the vein of “everything in life is writable” and the spirit of lessons I’ve learned this past week, here is a short list of things I’ve learned this past week (some the hard way):
1) Never, ever, ever, EVER grab a hot glass casserole dish without oven mitts protecting your hands. Because if you do? You sit down on the floor, grab a beer, take a long gulp whilst staring dumbfounded at the oven:
Lessons learned: Wear oven mitts. Don’t make complicated meals when you’ve had less than five hours of sleep. Inadequacy and failure taste delicious when they take the form of sushi.
2) There is such a thing as too much damn snow. I lived in the deep south for nearly two decades. Despite growing up in Jersey and spending my teen years in the mid-Atlantic, I haven’t seen the white stuff for a long time so I am still like a little kid whenever it crops up. Now that I am back in the Northeast, it’s been fabulous to see all the snow. Until the past month where it has managed to snow no less than a zillion times every damn week. Right now, we have about eight inches of the crap on the ground. It’s topped with a coating of a quarter of an inch of ice. It’s gorgeous, yes. But I NEED SPRING.
Lesson learn(ing): Patience, grasshopper. Lots and lots of patience. Also, lots of cruising Flickr for pictures of beaches, spring flowers, and sunshine.
3) My handwriting sucks. I am ascribing to the Luddite method of note-taking for my book. I bought a lovely 400 page journal and scribble in it, complete with references and everything as I take notes, write thoughts, etc. When I physically write something down, I am more likely to remember it than if I type it into a computer or into my phone. Once I fling it into the ether, it is also flung far, far away from my head. Don’t even think about suggesting Evernote. I’m already scheming ways to print out PDF’s of documents I desperately need to read because yes, I don’t want to read them online. I want to feel dead trees in my grubby non-environmental friendly hands. Because dammit, it’s just not a book unless trees have shed blood for it. Remember Hemingway? We’re bleeding here as authors – and I fully expect the trees to sacrifice too. And no, I do not care how politically incorrect this makes me – I am a FIRM believer in REAL BOOKS. MADE OF DEAD TREES.
Lesson learned: Practice my handwriting whenever I get a chance. It’s already improving. I can *almost* read it when I go back over my notes now. It’s either practice or apply to med school.
4) Just because a cat looks comfy and happy doesn’t mean they want you to pet them. No, sometimes? That means they’re stalking your hand, waiting for it to wave just in reach of their very sharp teeth.
Lesson Learned: Kick the cat off the damn couch if I’m typing. Or eating. Or moving my hands in any way. Because OW.
5) Breakfast really IS the most important meal of the day. I suck at eating breakfast when I am tired. Which, frankly, is most mornings. So I end up making myself coffee, taking my meds, fixing an English Muffin (this morning, it was a toaster strudel), with the intent of fixing myself some sort of protein once I’ve dragged myself out of the zombiesque state I tend to live in for the first few hours after opening my eyes. Thing is, lunchtime hits before I know it and OOPS. There goes breakfast. I eat light for lunch too because I got used to skipping it as well (back when I was eating a bigger breakfast) so then I want to eat ALL THE THINGS by dinner. If I eat ALL the things at dinner (and after dinner), I wake up with heartburn. I don’t want to wake up with heartburn so I need to get breakfast. We ordered a toaster this past week that has a little egg cooker attached to it so I am hoping this will enable me to eat a healthier breakfast. I have no excuse to not cook an egg along with my muffin now. NONE.
Lesson learned: Eat breakfast to avoid heartburn. Because heartburn wakes me up at 330 and then I don’t get any sleep and then, well – see item #1.
There you have it folks, my week in a nutshell.
Here’s to a better week, better lessons, less bleeding (or is that more, because I want to write? I dunno!), and DEAD TREES! YAWP!